Struggling to Make Ends Meet

One summer I was really having a tough time. My husband had left me, I was broke, and diagnosed with a serious medical condition. While I had a job, I was barely making ends meet and I didn’t have enough to get the prescription I needed filled.

I decided to attend a women’s meeting and when we broke into small groups to share what was going on in our lives, I just broke down sobbing. I told my group what was going on, cried for a while and then felt a little better. After the meeting was over, one of the ladies handed me a $20 bill to get my prescription. A lady named Justine asked me to walk with her to her car where she wrote out a check for $100. I was so blown away! I didn’t have words to express my gratitude. She asked me not to pay her back and said she wished it was more. I hugged her and have always remembered her fondly. At that moment I vowed to pass it on, though I didn’t know how or when. Several times I met people that I considered paying it forward to, but just didn’t have the extra $100.

Fast forward five years. My life has improved considerably. I have a wonderful new boyfriend, a job I enjoy, a nice home, good health, loved ones, all is pretty well. As the holidays were approaching, my best friend confided in me that he was having a hard time making ends meet. His salary covered the basics but didn’t leave much for extras and he didn’t know how he was going to buy presents for his three kids at Christmas and was really stressed out about it. I didn’t have much money, but I had a little bit in savings. I didn’t really have to buy presents for anyone and was planning to spend some money on gifts for myself.

Out of the recesses of my mind came the idea to pay forward the kindness Justine had showed me. I thought about it and prayed about it and it felt right. I told him the story of that summer day and what Justine had done for me. I told him I wanted to pay it forward to him for Christmas presents for his kids. He was astounded and accepted. I felt gladdened that I could pass on the generosity that Justine had shared with me.

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